31 December 2013

Top Thirteen Books I Read In 2013

Top Thirteen Books I Read in 2013
I read a bunch of fantastic books in 2013. In fact, I think this is my best year yet, if you take into account the volume of tears I cried. Because that's how I know I loved a book, you guys. I couldn't stop at just ten books, so I went with thirteen. And even that proved difficult but I didn't want to mess this up. So, in no particular order, here are my favourite books of the year. If you click on the book title, it will take you to my review of the book. Feel free to link up your posts in the comments!

30 December 2013

New Releases: December 31, 2013 - January 6, 2014

The new year is very nearly upon us, and publishers are still holding those books close. Think of this as the calm before the storm, because next week is going to be INSANE.

21 December 2013

Amber's 2013 End of Year Survey and Blogging Break

Before I get into this book survey, I wanted to announce that I'm going on a short blogging break over Christmas. It will only last a week, but I'm hoping that it will give me a chance to recharge and read some books without worrying about posting anything on the blog. I didn't take a break at all this year, and posting almost every day for 51 weeks really gets to you, and so I think a break is just want I need. It will also give me the chance to get way ahead with my scheduling, which has been something that I've wanted to do for a while. So, Merry Christmas everyone, and I'll see you closer to the New Year!

20 December 2013

Tatum's 2013 End of Year Survey

This year was pretty good in terms of reading; I read more in 2013 than I have in the past couple of years, mostly because I graduated from university and had more free time. BUT STILL. In the past I've usually had months long reading slumps but this year I pretty much read continuously from January right up until now; I think I doubled my last year's reading count? Whatever, I hope next year will bring more amazing books and the time to read them!

18 December 2013

The Promise of Amazing by Robin Constantine

The Promise of Amazing by Robin Constantine
Release Date: December 31, 2013
Publisher: Balzar + Bray
Source: Publisher (Edelweiss)
Star Rating: ★★
Rating: Bland

Wren Caswell is average. Ranked in the middle of her class at Sacred Heart, she’s not popular, but not a social misfit. Wren is the quiet, “good” girl who's always done what she's supposed to—only now in her junior year, this passive strategy is backfiring. She wants to change, but doesn’t know how.

Grayson Barrett was the king of St. Gabe’s. Star of the lacrosse team, top of his class, on a fast track to a brilliant future—until he was expelled for being a “term paper pimp.” Now Gray is in a downward spiral and needs to change, but doesn’t know how.

One fateful night their paths cross when Wren, working at her family’s Arthurian-themed catering hall, performs the Heimlich on Gray as he chokes on a cocktail weenie, saving his life literally and figuratively. What follows is the complicated, awkward, hilarious, and tender tale of two teens shedding their pasts, figuring out who they are—and falling in love.

I'm not going to lie to you, I went into this book knowing that I probably wouldn't like it. I had heard tales of instalove and that is never good. My instincts were correct, this wasn't a good book. Which is a shame, because I had high hopes for it before all the reviews started coming out. And the cover is awesome. 

17 December 2013

Top Ten New-To-Me Authors I Read In 2013

Top Ten New-To-Me Authors I Read in 2013

I wasn't sure how many new authors I had read this year, but I was happy to discover that there are a bunch of them that I now love. Making this list was a lot easier than I had imagined! These people are behind some of my all time favourite books, which I was so happy to discover in 2013. They're all fantastic!

16 December 2013

New Releases: December 17 - 30, 2013

I'm taking a short blogging break over Christmas in order to refuel and prepare myself for the new year, so this New Releases post covers two weeks of new releases. Not that you could tell, because so few books are coming out!

11 December 2013

The Diviners by Libba Bray

The Diviners by Libba Bray
The Diviners #1
Release Date: September 18, 2012
Publisher: Atom
Source: Gift
Star Rating: ★★★
Rating: Enjoyable

It's 1920s New York City. It's flappers and Follies, jazz and gin. It's after the war but before the depression. And for certain group of bright young things it's the opportunity to party like never before.

For Evie O'Neill, it's escape. She's never fit in in small town Ohio and when she causes yet another scandal, she's shipped off to stay with an uncle in the big city. But far from being exile, this is exactly what she's always wanted: the chance to show how thoroughly modern and incredibly daring she can be.

But New York City isn't about just jazz babies and follies girls. It has a darker side. Young women are being murdered across the city. And these aren't crimes of passion. They're gruesome. They're planned. They bear a strange resemblance to an obscure group of tarot cards. And the New York City police can't solve them alone.

Evie wasn't just escaping the stifling life of Ohio, she was running from the knowledge of what she could do. She has a secret. A mysterious power that could help catch the killer - if he doesn't catch her first.
In a town house at a fashionable address on Manhattan's Upper East Side, every lamp blazes.
I was very hesitant to read anything by Libba Bray after the shitfest that was Beauty Queens, which is one of the worst books I have ever read. I wasn't a fan of the weird satire, or the overwhelming amount of annoying characters. But while The Diviners had some trace of the same writing style, which is expected since it's by the same author, I ended up really enjoying it, and now I really want to read the Gemma Doyle series as well.

10 December 2013

Top Ten Books On My Winter TBR

hosted by The Broke and the Bookish
Top Ten Books On My Winter TBR

Despite not having read all the books on my autumn TBR, I thought I would make another list because I do quite like having one at hand. Hopefully I can get to most of these, because I really am dying to read some of them!

09 December 2013

New Releases: December 10 - 16, 2013

Everyone's excited for These Broken Stars, amirite? I read it together with Judith last month, and we both ended up really enjoying it. It's a great sci-fi read! That's the only release I'm looking forward to this week, although I am intrigued by Spoils, which is about a girl whose family won the lottery. I might read it and dream. Also, I kind of want to read Snakeroot, even though I hated Bloodrose with a passion. I just want to see what happens with Ren because apparently he's coming back in some way?

06 December 2013

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews
Release Date: March 1, 2012
Publisher: Henry N. Abrams
Source: Bought
Rating: ★★★

Greg Gaines is the last master of high school espionage, able to disappear at will into any social environment. He has only one friend, Earl, and together they spend their time making movies, their own incomprehensible versions of Coppola and Herzog cult classics.

Until Greg’s mother forces him to rekindle his childhood friendship with Rachel.

Rachel has been diagnosed with leukemia—-cue extreme adolescent awkwardness—-but a parental mandate has been issued and must be obeyed. When Rachel stops treatment, Greg and Earl decide the thing to do is to make a film for her, which turns into the Worst Film Ever Made and becomes a turning point in each of their lives.

And all at once Greg must abandon invisibility and stand in the spotlight.

Me and Earl and The Dying Girl is an unusual novel. Truthfully, I'm not really sure whether I mean that as a compliment or not. Following in the footsteps of trendy YA novelists like David Levithan and John Green, Me and Earl and The Dying Girl has the typical misfit white dude protagonist whose narration is interspersed with cynical wit and quotable lines. Also there is ~personal tragedy~ as well as a way more charismatic best friend.

05 December 2013

Crash Into You by Katie McGarry

Crash Into You by Katie McGarry
Pushing the Limits #3
Release Date: November 26, 2013
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Source: Publisher (NetGalley)
Star Rating: ★★
Rating: Bland

The girl with straight As, designer clothes and the perfect life-that's who people expect Rachel Young to be. So the private-school junior keeps secrets from her wealthy parents and overbearing brothers...and she's just added two more to the list. One involves racing strangers down dark country roads in her Mustang GT. The other? Seventeen-year-old Isaiah Walker-a guy she has no business even talking to. But when the foster kid with the tattoos and intense gray eyes comes to her rescue, she can't get him out of her mind.

Isaiah has secrets, too. About where he lives, and how he really feels about Rachel. The last thing he needs is to get tangled up with a rich girl who wants to slum it on the south side for kicks-no matter how angelic she might look.

But when their shared love of street racing puts both their lives in jeopardy, they have six weeks to come up with a way out. Six weeks to discover just how far they'll go to save each other.

After being rather annoyed over Dare You To and the disaster that was Beth and Ryan's relationship, I was so ready for Crash Into You to bring back the awesome that I experienced while reading Pushing the Limits. I was hesitant, sure, but I was still looking forward to it. Unfortunately, I enjoyed Crash Into You even less than Dare You To, and I ended up completely bored.

04 December 2013

These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner

These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner
Starbound #1
Release Date: December 10, 2013
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Source: Publisher (NetGalley)
Star Rating: ★★★★
Rating: Essential

It's a night like any other on board the Icarus. Then, catastrophe strikes: the massive luxury spaceliner is yanked out of hyperspace and plummets into the nearest planet. Lilac LaRoux and Tarver Merendsen survive. And they seem to be alone.

Lilac is the daughter of the richest man in the universe. Tarver comes from nothing, a young war hero who learned long ago that girls like Lilac are more trouble than they’re worth. But with only each other to rely on, Lilac and Tarver must work together, making a tortuous journey across the eerie, deserted terrain to seek help.

Then, against all odds, Lilac and Tarver find a strange blessing in the tragedy that has thrown them into each other’s arms. Without the hope of a future together in their own world, they begin to wonder—would they be better off staying here forever?

Everything changes when they uncover the truth behind the chilling whispers that haunt their every step. Lilac and Tarver may find a way off this planet. But they won’t be the same people who landed on it.
Nothing about this room is real.
These Broken Stars was a highly anticipated read of mine, and I'm sure a lot of other bloggers and readers felt the same, so I was delighted to receive it for review. A sci-fi is just what I needed, and on top of that there was a hate-to-love (kind of) relationship, and survival stuff.

03 December 2013

Top Ten 2014 Releases I'm Dying To Read

Top Ten 2014 Releases I'm Dying To Read

It's the home run of 2013, the new year is almost upon us, and with it, a whole bunch of new books that I am dying to check out! I've been looking forward to a lot of these for a long time, and I'm so glad that it's almost time. I thought that this week's topic was going to be difficult, but it turns out that there are only a dozen or so books that I would kill for.

02 December 2013

New Releases: December 3 - 9, 2013

I can't believe that we are now into the final month of 2013! This is madness. The beginning of December is pretty slow, release-wise. Only a dozen or so books are out in the first half. But then after Christmas everything explodes! I really need to start the Liar Society series, it seems like a lot of fun! And I do need to catch up with Miranda Kenneally's series, since I've only read the first book.

01 December 2013

Epic Recs: December 2013

A few months ago, Judith and I started up an impromptu book club called Epic Recs. The aim of this was to force each other to read books that we have previously loved. You know, because Judith is a self proclaimed book pusher, and I just like forcing people to do things.

Last month we opened Epic Recs up to the public, and we've had a few people participate already! This is all very exciting, and I'm looking forward to seeing how other people enjoy the experience. This month, we decided that we were going to open up a form for people who wish to be paired with a random person, since they might not know anyone who's interested in Epic Reccing with them.

All you have to do is fill in the form below, and Judith and I will match you up with another participant. If there is more than one person taking part, obviously. Some people suggested this in the comments last time, and we thought it had the potential to work out rather well! So fill in the form if you're interested, and we'll pair you up as soon as possible!